Ghana re-launches Universal Salt Iodisation project

Ghana has re-launched the Universal Salt Iodization Project, to promote the consumption of iodised salt, to combat iodine deficiency diseases like Goitre.

This is because Ghana could not achieve the World Health Organisation (WHO) target of 90 per cent household consumption of iodised salt in 2014.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Mrs Delese A. A. Darko, disclosed this in Accra during the stakeholder forum on Universal Salt Iodization.

She said a recent study conducted in 2014 showed only 39 per cent of households in Ghana consumed salt with the right amount of iodine.

Attended by representatives from the World Health Organisation, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) the programme was to educate citizens on the need to consume iodised salt to prevent Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDDs).

Mrs Darko said there was the need for Ghanaians to take in the right proportions of iodized salt to eliminate public health problems caused by IDDs, such as Goitre.

She said IDDs were one of the most common micro-nutrient deficiencies which resulted from insufficient iodine in diets.

The FDA CEO entreated parents to use iodinised salt in preparing meals for their families to boost the knowledge and academic excellence of their wards.

According to Mrs Darko, the FDA had introduced mechanisms to strengthen enforcement of salt iodisation standards.

“The existing enforcement activities such as inspection, licensing and compliance monitoring in relation to iodisation have been strengthened to achieve effective iodisation of salt,” she said.

Mrs Darko also stated that the authority had introduced testers to check salt iodinisation by salt producers and distributors.

The Minister of Health, Kwaku Agemang Manu, in a speech read for him, stated that Iodine deficiency was a silent threat that affected millions of people around the globe, leading to serious health complications.

According to the minister the deficiency disorders associated with iodine included stillbirth, congenital defects and decreased cognitive capacity.

Other forms of the IDDs, he mentioned included the delay of infant mortality and development of Goitre.

The minister said there was the need for collective commitment to Universal Salt Iodisation, adding “Our collective commitment to Universal Salt Iodization is a testament to our unwavering dedication to break the cycle of preventable suffering caused by iodine deficiency diseases,” he said.

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